Eli Rozenberg, one of three investors interested in purchasing El Al but the only one so far to have received a permit to do so, has raised his bid of $75 million for a 45% stake in the airline to $101 million, Globes reported on Monday.
Rozenberg sent a letter to Finance Ministry Director-General Keren Terner-Eyal and head of the ministry’s budget department Shaul Meridor stating that he is willing to purchase shares of $101 million in El Al’s public offering on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, scheduled for next week on August 31.
Rozenberg’s raised bid is based on the price of NIS 0.67 that the Israeli government is willing to pay for any shares that are not purchased at the offering.
Apparently, the meeting did not succeed in eliminating the tension between Rozenberg and El Al, based on what Rozenberg’s lawyer wrote to the airline on Monday: “We hope that the public offering process will be completed on the date set in a transparent and fair way and that no further difficulties will be raised against my client regarding his participation in this proceeding. We trust that immediately after the IPO process, my client will become the controlling shareholder of El Al. We are confident that the proposals and goodwill of the Israeli government, which has offered to stand beside and assist El Al, will not change with the replacement of El Al’s controlling shareholders.”
Meanwhile, two other investors have applied to the Government Companies Authority for a permit to buy a controlling stake in El Al, Meir Gurvitz and David Sapir. However, neither of them has yet received a permit.
Government Companies Authority head Yaakov Kvint informed Finance Ministry Director-General Keren Terner-Eyal last week that he will not have sufficient time to examine the credentials of the three potential investors by August 31, the deadline for the public offering, as outlined by the government’s bailout plan. However, at least so far, Terner-Eyal has refused to delay the offering.
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(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)